Milwaukee Brewers: Trade Talks With Pirates For Josh Harrison?

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Josh Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Josh Harrison /

The Milwaukee Brewers need more infield depth. A trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Josh Harrison would fill that need.

The Pirates will likely be sellers and the Milwaukee Brewers should be buyers as Major League Baseball approaches its trade deadline at the end of July.

The Pirates lucked into some early season success here in 2018 despite dealing their franchise player (Andrew McCutchen) and best pitcher (Gerrit Cole) during the offseason.

However, the team now looks up at the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers ahead of them in the NL Central.

Jon Morosi wrote on June 14 that the team will likely try to move some of its veterans.

"“Based on Huntington’s [Pirates GM] approach during the past years […] the team probably will listen to offers on players [such as] right-hander Ivan Nova, catcher Francisco Cervelli, infielders Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, Sean Rodriguez and David Freese.”"

The Milwaukee Brewers could be interested in a handful of those Pirates players in a trade.

Brewers trade rumors with Pirates?

But who fits best with the Brewers roster? The Brewers talked to the Pirates about Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison during the offseason.

Due to slow 2018 starts by Orlando Arcia and Eric Sogard plus numerous injuries at catcher, Brewers general manager David Stearns has reason to trade for any of these players. The team’s need at starting pitcher has been well documented.

Morosi mentions Jordy Mercer could be beaded to Milwaukee in his column. That Brewers trade rumor does not make much sense, however. Mercer’s 2018 OPS is only in the mid .700s. The Brewers already acquired Brad Miller for mediocre help like that.

Harrison’s is no better, but he has twice as much career WAR as Mercer. Neither have a statistical history of thriving at Miller Park.

Arcia showed the ability to hit better in 2017. Mercer does not seem like enough of an upgrade for the Brewers to give up prospects. Harrison might fit due to a history of hot streaks, but the Pirates might be asking too much.

A higher asking price might be even more likely with the Brewers because the teams are division rivals.

Ivan Nova is not having a particularly dominant year. With Milwaukee’s depth at starting pitching, this is another trade that does not make sense.

Next: Is Jonathan Villar back to his 2016 form?

Francisco Cervelli is having a breakout season for the Pirates. Perhaps the most reasonable trade rumor for the Brewers and Pirates involves the catcher’s name.